For the rhino, beauty does not lie in the eye of the beholder. For the past 5 years, the Il Ngwesi community have tried to grow their rhino population, but nothing doing.
James Ole Kanyagi, senior tour guide at the community ranch says that they have since found out that for rhinos to want to mate, there must be competition.
“If there is only one male and one female, they will never mate. There has to be a competition for the male rhinos to want to mate with the female,” he says, adding that they are now in the process of getting another male black rhino to start the mating game.
So far, their three rhinos are still intact. None have partaken in the sacred union, which in their case lasts for a cool 40 minutes, per session. Should they be named the new kings of the jungle, I wonder?
Well as you debate that, be informed that the mating game goes on all week, and after each union, the female rhino in its excitement chases down its male counterpart, just for fun!
“These rhinos are a project we want to undertake to protect the species, since there has been a recent uptake in cases of poaching. These animals have become endangered once again. There are about 3 or 4,000 around the country, but at some point they were about 68,000 of them. Before poaching was banned these numbers had dwindled to as little as 300,” says James.
The rhino sanctuary at Il Ngwesi is off bounds, and one can only see rhinos when they come to the edge of the boundary, fenced off to keep even other animals away.
“They are guarded by Kenya Police Reserve rangers, in case any poachers make their way in there.”
This is just one among many activities being undertaken by the Il Ngwesi community to empower themselves.
“We are happy to be able to do this. Now tourists should stop concentrating on the Mara and come and see what we have to offer too. This is a beautiful country,” he says.